Harris highlights 'challenges' for women after Warren drops out

Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisBiden taps big bank skeptic to for top regulatory post Harris unveils 0M commitment to new global health fund Senate advances Biden consumer bureau pick after panel logjam MORE (D-Calif.) and other leading liberal women drew attention to sexism and the uphill battle female candidates face in running for president after Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Warren11 senators urge House to pass .5T package before infrastructure bill Senate Democrats seeking information from SPACs, questioning 'misaligned incentives' UN secretary-general blasts space tourism MORE (D-Mass.) dropped out of the race for the Democratic nomination on Thursday.

“This election cycle in particular has ... presented very legitimate questions about the challenges of women running for president of the United States,” Harris told reporters on Capitol Hill.

Following former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHeller won't say if Biden won election Whitmer trailing GOP challenger by 6 points in Michigan governor race: poll GOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 MORE’s stunning election loss to President TrumpDonald TrumpTexas announces election audit in four counties after Trump demand Schumer sets Monday showdown on debt ceiling-government funding bill Pennsylvania AG sues to block GOP subpoenas in election probe MORE in 2016, many Democrats hoped that 2020 was the year that a woman would win the White House, particularly with five women running for the Democratic nomination.

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But in addition to Warren and Harris, Sens. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — Officials want action on cyberattacks Senate panel advances antitrust bill that eyes Google, Facebook This week: Democrats face mounting headaches MORE (D-Minn.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Gillibrand11 senators urge House to pass .5T package before infrastructure bill Hochul tells Facebook to 'clean up the act' on abortion misinformation after Texas law Democratic senators request probe into Amazon's treatment of pregnant employees MORE (D-N.Y.) have ended their presidential bids.

Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardProgressives breathe sigh of relief after Afghan withdrawal Hillicon Valley: US has made progress on cyber but more needed, report says | Democrat urges changes for 'problematic' crypto language in infrastructure bill | Facebook may be forced to unwind Giphy acquisition YouTube rival Rumble strikes deals with Tulsi Gabbard, Glenn Greenwald MORE (D-Hawaii) is the last remaining woman in the contest, but she has not qualified for the past few Democratic debates and has not been competitive in the primary races so far.

The Democratic nominating contest has come down to two white men in their 70s, former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTexas announces election audit in four counties after Trump demand Pennsylvania AG sues to block GOP subpoenas in election probe House passes sweeping defense policy bill MORE and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by the League of Conservation Voters — EPA finalizing rule cutting HFCs Manchin fires warning shot on plan to expand Medicare Democrats steamroll toward showdown on House floor MORE (I-Vt.).

“Look at what's happened. There are no women currently in this race,” Harris said.

“The reality is that there's still a lot of work to be done to make it very clear that women are exceptionally qualified and capable of being the commander in chief of the United States of America.”

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Throughout her presidential run, Warren made a point of taking pictures with young girls and telling them that they can achieve whatever they want, including becoming the next president.

“We 100 percent know that the ripple effects of Elizabeth Warren's big ideas campaign for president will be felt for months, years, and decades — and someday a little girl who pinky swore to Elizabeth that she would run for office will be sworn into Congress and as President," Stephanie Taylor and Adam Green, the co-founders of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, said in a statement.

Some progressives blamed the news media, alleging sexism led to coverage that tilted the playing field against the women.

“It is clear from Warren’s campaign that  there is a glass ceiling held firmly in place for women by a media who relentlessly shape voters perceptions of who is electable through a deeply sexist lens,” said Shaunna Thomas, the co-founder of UltraViolet Action, a liberal women’s group.

"In a year in which primary voters' top concerns is electability — the media has had a massive impact on how voters perceived the candidates — and when Warren was on the top of the polls, the main narrative driven by the media was that she was not electable. That’s unacceptable. It is the media's sexism that determined Warren's fate — from the clear evidence of her erasure in their reporting as a leading candidate to the persistent questioning of her electability — and the media is responsible for hurting her ability to win support amongst primary voters,” Thomas said.